Environment

Healthy environmental ecosystems are critical to healthy economies

By working to mitigate our environmental impact, we are able to better serve our clients, employees and communities.

While professional services firms do not have the footprint of many other industries, we use significant power in our offices and data centers, and we often travel to deliver on our client engagements. We are committed to reducing and/or offsetting resulting carbon emissions focusing on areas of our footprint that are most material to our business and the way we work: business air travel, office energy use and commuting, which collectively constitute 80% of our FY17 footprint. We are also focusing more on waste reduction, given its importance to our staff and stakeholders.

Our progress highlights

54%LEED-certified office space

More than 15% reduction in office-related emissions from FY14 to FY17

In FY17, we decreased our absolute greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 37% compared to our FY07 baseline, putting us on track to meet our 45% carbon emissions reduction target by 2020. Even though our business and staff numbers have grown, we have reduced our emissions per full-time employee by 60% since 2007. To maintain this progress, we support flexible work arrangements, virtual collaboration, green commuting and more efficient LEED-certified office spaces. We continue to purchase renewable energy certificates to cover 100% of our purchased electricity, as well as carbon offsets to cover some of our travel emissions.

Looking ahead

We will further engage and mobilize our Green Teams as a key asset in our markets, encouraging members to develop and use their leadership skills to make a positive impact in our offices and communities. This will include a focus on waste reduction and recycling, a key priority across our markets that will, in turn, help the firm deliver on our environmental strategy.

GHG emissions including RECs/offsets

In FY17, we realigned the way we categorize2 and report our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with the way that we work in order to better communicate our areas of impact to our staff and other stakeholders.

Carbon footprint reduction

%

 FY15FY16FY17
Carbon footprint reduction – Absolute302837
Carbon footprint reduction – FTE3525560

GHG emissions excluding Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)/offsets

Metric tons CO2e2

 FY15FY16FY17
Total299,435306,564297,670
Getting around200,740220,386213,826
Air travel129,110143,207134,752
Commuting37,97441,83345,151
Other business travel33,65635,34633,923
Delivering work in the office68,07256,13355,247
Energy65,52853,92653,425
Paper2,5442,2081,823
Delivering work outside of the office30,62330,04528,597
Hotels and meetings30,62330,04528,597

Composition of GHG emissions excluding RECs/offsets

%

 FY15FY16FY17
Getting around677272
Delivering work in the office231819
Delivering work outside of the office10109

GHG emissions including RECs/offsets

 FY15FY16FY17
Total emissions after RECs/offsets (metric tons CO2e)224,535229,900201,742
RECs/offsets purchased (metric tons CO2e)74,90076,66495,928
GHG emissions including RECs/offsets per FTE3 (metric tons CO2e/FTE)5.04.64.1

Percentage of LEED-certified square footage

%

FY15FY16FY17
664454
  1. Metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.
  2. Getting around refers to how we commute to the office or travel to meet our clients’ needs. This includes air travel, employee commuting (personal car/mass transit), reimbursed mileage, and ground transport (taxis, trains, black/town cars). In previous years we also included (non-commuting) bus travel in our reporting. This has been discontinued due to its extreme immateriality.

    Delivering work in the office refers to the energy and resources we use in our PwC offices and workspaces. This includes office energy use and paper purchased. In previous years we also included emissions related to printer toner in our reporting. This has been discontinued due to its extreme immateriality.

    Delivering work outside of the office refers to the energy and resources consumed in spaces we use when we are away from the office. This includes energy use in hotels and non-PwC meeting space.

    Baseline and FY14-FY16 data (except for REC/offset amounts) has been restated to correspond to the new categories. For further detail on how we calculate emissions and recent updates to our process, please see Carbon Methodology.

  3. Full-time employee.

Learn more about our carbon methodology >